Adding a dart board to Fairy Tail’s guildhall was probably, in hindsight, a mistake.
Everything had gone just fine with it, at least for a couple of weeks. The guild members behaved themselves well enough, handling the darts with care and everyone else smartly skirting behind the players when a game was underway rather than in front of it.
After that, however... things went a little bit pear shaped with the dart board.
Who would have thought that giving the oftentimes short-tempered and very drunken members of Fairy Tail easy access to sharp throwing projectiles could go wrong?
At first it was just someone not paying attention and wandering in front of the board at the precisely wrong moment. Max had cried a little as Wendy removed the dart from his shoulder, but no one really gave the incident any concern, assuming that it was a one-time occurrence and that Max would pay better attention going forward.
It was not a one-time occurrence, as it turned out. Max, when socializing, was particularly inept at observing his surroundings and was a frequent victim, but he was by no means the only one.
After removing several more darts from various members of her guild, Wendy ordered the board to be removed to a more secluded corner of the guild as a safety precaution. This resolved most of the issues, and the matter left everyone’s minds fairly quickly.
That was... until one evening, when Crime Sorciere came to visit.
The evening had started out innocently enough. The members of the wandering guild mingled easily with Fairy Tail, with Meredy gravitating towards Juvia and Gray, Sawyer and Jet setting up a potential race between themselves, Richard and Mirajane chatting amicably at the bar with Cana, and Macbeth having found some quiet backroom in which to take a nap and avoid the whole lot of them.
Jellal and Erik had rapidly found themselves sucked into Natsu’s antics - the poison dragon slayer unable to resist a challenge from the pink-haired man for a “friendly” game of darts and Jellal more or less along for the ride as a rather ineffective peace-keeper between the duo.
Now, even with that incredibly unfortunate setup, the evening might have ended peaceably after all, if not for Sorano.
Nursing more than a little bit of a vindictive streak, and possessing the quality of teasing the people she cared about, it was only a matter of time before the former celestial mage sought out the current celestial mage in attendance. She then proceeded to egg Lucy into an impromptu drinking contest, further spurred on by the enthusiastic cajoling of Cana.
More than a little bit drunk, it was at this point that Sorano decided that Natsu and Erik were pissing her off more than Lucy’s abject refusal to go down was.
“Shut up!” she shouted at them, as they hurled insults at the other’s dart game. “You both couldn’t hit the broad side of Richard, let alone that board!”
They took offense to this.
“Fuck you, feathered freak!”
“Yeah! What Cobra said!” Natsu added. “I bet you can’t do any better!”
He may have been more than a little drunk himself, or he never would have spoken those words within the earshot of Cana.
“Ooooh, care to place money on that?” Cana offered. “Boys versus girls, Erik and Natsu versus Sorano and Lucy!” After a brief hesitation, she added, “and Jellal can be scorekeeper.”
“That’s not fair!” Sorano objected. “We need a female scorekeeper too!”
“I haven’t agreed to this,” Lucy pointed out, but was ignored.
Erza stepped forward. “I’ll be scorekeeper with Jellal.”
With that settled, Lucy found herself standing beside Erik with a handful of darts in her hands. He grinned sidelong at her. “Try to at least hit the board,” he taunted playfully.
All reservations in Lucy’s mind were cleared. She was now fully invested in taking him down and wiping that smug look from his face.
Unfortunately, her newfound enthusiasm would prove disastrous, as when it came her turn, she threw her dart with little too much force and not enough aim.
The projectile hit the corner of the board and ricocheted off, heading for Erza. She let out a yelp as it glanced off her armor, and launched into the general masses of the guild. Shrieks erupted as the sharp object flew through the air and finally embedded itself in Elfman’s rear end.
The man let out a veritable roar and began looking around furiously for the source of his new discomfort. Deciding it was Gray, he picked up the nearest bench and hurled it at the ice wizard. Gray squawked as he dodged, shouting, “What the hell was that for, Elfman?!”
“You know what you did!”
Lucy shrugged as Gray lobbed a chair at the larger man, turning back to the board. “I get two more shots, right?” she asked, already lining up another dart as the group remained unable to turn their gazes away from the rapidly developing chaos in the center of the guild as more people were pulled into the brawl, and therefore unable to supervise what Lucy was about to do.
Sweat poured down Erik’s face and he unfortunately failed to take note of Lucy hurling another dart - which also missed, and ricocheted back into the crowd.
A shriek erupted from the crowd. “Goddamn it, not again!”
“Stop!” Erik implored reaching for the blonde, as he realized that she was about to cast her third and final dart. He was too late however, as the projectile had already left her hand by the time he grabbed it.
The sound of the dart as it punctured through the air reached his sensitive ears, and he turned his head just in time as the dart whizzed straight back towards him, narrowly missing his face.
Lucy frowned up at him. “Let me try that again, I won’t miss this time.”
“No!” he protested, moving to block her from taking the darts out of Sorano’s stupefied hands. “You’re done! I’m not about to risk losing my other eye!”
The blonde pouted. “But I was so close this time!”
Erik wasn’t sure if Lucy meant his eye or the dart board, but either way he wasn’t taking any more chances. He also concluded, in that moment, that the blonde was absolutely terrifying. Wrapping an arm around her shoulders, he steered her away from the dart board. For his own self-preservation. “I think it’s time you went home.” Steering her carefully around the flying furniture and mages of Fairy Tail, he ignored her booing at him.
Later, after shoving the drunk girl into the infirmary to sleep it off, Erik had to admit to himself that the sheer amount of destruction she’d caused, and her cold dismissal of the erupting situation, were fairly impressive, and if his only remaining eye hadn’t been in grave danger, he would have been content to watch the chaos unfold.
A set of lawn darts appeared at Fairy Tail’s doorstep some time after, with a note stating that they were for Lucy.
In further hindsight, it was also a mistake to combine drunk mages with such a dangerous toy, but on his next visit Erik made sure to steer clear of the game so he didn’t really care. Lucy, having learned her lesson, joined him at laughing at the antics of her guildmates.
Wendy took away both of the games after that. Which was probably for the better.